A New Computer Every Day

Would you like a new computer every day?

Well, you can have one.

Of course I don’t mean a real new computer but a virtual one.

Here things get tricky.

I tried to find a simple discussion of virtualization but I couldn’t – the Wikipedia article made it seem an impossible dream.

So I’ll try it myself.

Warning:

I’m using a Windows XP based computer.

What I say works for me.

I am not responsible for anything that happens to you or your equipment.

My first point is anecdotal:

Many people, photographers and others tell me how slow their machines are, how they want a new computer.

A businessman friend of mine recently replaced his laptop and bought new software.

I knew perfectly well that his old laptop had plenty of power and his old software was more than good enough he didn’t really need a new computer.

What had happened?

Over the two or three years he had used his laptop it had got slower and slower.

Why was that?

Because he had installed new programmes, uninstalled old ones and generally made a lot of changes on his computer.

So what’s the solution?

  • You need a computer that has the power to do the jobs you want when it’s new.
  • You need to make sure that it stays just like new.

How can you do this?

There are a number of ways but one of the easiest and cheapest is through virtualization.

As PC Magazine puts it:

nothing that happens to your system is permanent. Just reboot and presto! Everything is back the way it was.

or another phrase

restoring a computer back to its original configuration each time the computer restarts.

or even to wax lyrical to give your computer

The secret of eternal youth.

Let’s take a typical situation:

As a photographer you probably have an interest in Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe have taken to offering their products as pre-production time limited beta programmes.

So, you can download Photoshop CT6.

You can try it out until it expires.

What then – you can leave it on your computer or you can uninstall it.

Chances are that after the uninstall bits of the programme will still be left hanging around in your computer.

This sort of thing will, over time, slow your computer down.

One solution is to virtualize your computer.

You do your work as usual.

You save your new creations, letters, memos, photographs onto a seperate unvirtualized disk – maybe a USB drive or a different partician on your hard disk.

You switch your computer off and everything you have done just disappears and your computer is restored to its previous state.

It’s like magic. It’s the fountain of eternal youth.

How is it done?

You find a suitable programme – they have names like “Steady State” or Deep Freeze.

The programme I use is Returnil System Safe – the free version works for me.

I’ll write my review some time.

My picture this week is Mayday Dancers in Sofia

My picture of Mayday Dancers in Sofia is here.

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